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You have self-esteem

How do you regard yourself and how much do you appreciate yourself? Your answers reveal a lot about your self-esteem.

High self-esteem makes it easier for you to be gentle and accepting towards yourself and others. This helps you acknowledge your own mistakes and screw-ups while still considering yourself a good person deep down. Behind high self-esteem lies genuine self-knowledge.

High self-esteem makes it easier for you to be gentle and accepting towards yourself and others.

Person with high self-esteem

  • Has a truthful self-image – they identify and are aware of their weaknesses. They do not defend their bad behaviour with their weaknesses (e.g. ‘This is who I am, I cannot help it’).
  • Trusts themselves and values themselves as a person. Valuing yourself means not letting others hurt yourself, for instance. Self-confidence, on the other hand, refers to having the courage to take on challenging tasks – you might not be able to overcome them but you can still have the courage to give it a try.
  • Considers their own life valuable and unique.
  • Is independent both in decisions concerning their own life and of others’ opinions.
  • Does not feel the need to hurt others but still lives their own life the way they want – not according to the prevailing values of the environment.
  • Tolerates uncertainty, disappointments and failures.

High self-esteem is NOT

  • The same thing as confident behaviour or outward success.
  • Merely self-confidence and seeing yourself only in positive light.
  • Social courage, as shy or withdrawn people can also have high self-esteem. On the other hand, a loud, visible and social person who is always the centre of attention among their friends can suffer from low self-esteem behind the surface. Self-esteem does not always show on the outside.
  • Self-fulfilment at the expense of others.

No-one has perfect self-esteem – and that should not even be the goal. Everyone also has at least a tiny bit of self-esteem. It is possible to improve your self-esteem during all phases of life. This helps you increase your satisfaction in life and strengthens your feelings of control over your own life.

It is possible to improve your self-esteem during all phases of life.

Tips to improve self-esteem

  • Find yourself. What kind of an image do you have of yourself? If you are used to thinking of a certain feature as an attribute of yourself, ask yourself whether it is really true and whether you actually are like that.
  • Accept yourself the way you are. Detach yourself from false feelings of shame and guilt.
  • Be merciful. Forgive yourself and others.
  • Regard other people with compassion – it helps you be compassionate to yourself too.
  • During difficult times, recall all the good things that have been – both difficulties and better times are a part of life.
  • Learn to make choices and decisions and to express your will. You might have to practice making decisions even in trivial issues if you are not used to wanting anything.
  • Seek company that makes you feel good.
  • Focus on things that are important to you.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others or at least change the way you do it: do not only compare yourself to those that seem to be doing well.
  • Check whether your standards towards yourself are reasonable.
  • Accept positive feedback you receive from others.
  • Take care of your everyday life; of sufficient rest, eating and exercising.
  • Do exercises with mental images. Imagine that you will succeed just the way you are. Think of all your good aspects, write them down and return to the list during moments of weakness.

Food for thought:

  • Are you mostly satisfied with being YOU?
  • Do you accept any weaknesses in yourself?
  • What kinds of methods could you try to improve your self-esteem?